Originally created 04/27/04

Collins ready to leave GiantsNFL



NEW YORK - With Eli Manning in town, Kerry Collins is ready to leave.

Collins, who took the New York Giants to the 2001 Super Bowl, said his goodbyes Monday after five years with the team. While the quarterback wasn't officially released, Collins and the Giants said that would almost surely happen in the next few days.

On Saturday, the Giants traded North Carolina State quarterback Philip Rivers and three draft choices to the San Diego Chargers for Manning, the No. 1 overall pick.

Manning's salary makes it almost impossible for the team to have cap room for two highly paid QBs. Collins, 31, will earn $7 million next season but will cost $8.95 million against the $80.6 million salary cap.

"I figured there was no reason to hang around," Collins said after turning down a request by Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi to restructure his salary.

"Ernie told me that he felt Eli was one of the three or four best college quarterbacks he's seen in the last 20 years," Collins said. "Someone like Elway or Marino. Someone like that."

PANTHERS: Carolina signed 13 free agents, including former Georgia kicker Billy Bennett and veteran wide receiver Donald Hayes.

Bennett, who holds several school records, will try to make the roster next to another former Georgia kicker, John Kasay.

RAMS: The NFL will review the latest arrest of defensive end Leonard Little, who was cited for drunken driving.

He was charged with a felony for drunken driving and speeding, five years after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter for an accident that killed a woman.

His latest arrest came early Saturday morning, after he was pulled over for speeding by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue.

A probable cause statement filed by police said Little had bloodshot and watery eyes, smelled of alcohol and failed three sobriety tests.

The statement said Little admitted drinking alcoholic beverages.

TILLMAN UPDATE: The body of former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, a military official said. Tillman, who gave up his NFL career to join the Army Rangers in 2002, was killed in combat Thursday.

Tillman's family didn't release what funeral home the body would be taken to, said Shari Lawrence, a spokeswoman for the Army Human Resources Command.